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Old 03-09-2013, 08:27   #1 (permalink)
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2003 Ford Windstar SE - Low MPG

I recently bought a used 2003 Ford Windstar SE minivan and I am only getting about 12 to 13 MPG and it has been as low as 10 MPG. I mainly drive it on the weekends and sometimes during the week, mostly city driving (suburban). This is based on running two full tanks of gas through it so far. On the second tank, I ran Lucas fuel treatment.

I am planning a long trip later this month and wanted to see if anyone had any pointers for me.

The oil has been changed as of last week and they said the air filter was fine.

Thank you.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:00   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 Ford Windstar SE - Low MPG

Autozone will pull codes for free. The light doesn't have to be on. You can also clean the MAF with MAF cleaner.
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Old 03-09-2013, 17:02   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 Ford Windstar SE - Low MPG

Rating for it when it was new (6 cyl) was 16-21 mpg. You've got something going on.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:54   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 Ford Windstar SE - Low MPG

As you recently bought it, did it come with any previous maintenance records? If not, your best bet is to spend a couple hundred bucks here and change out the transmission fluid, as well as take it in to have a tune up performed (new plugs, etc). Also make sure the tires are inflated properly. You can run tires at 20psi (instead of say 34), and the tire will look properly inflated but will cut 15-30% off of your mileage.

If in doubt, change out the air filter anyway. For $6 or so, you can't go wrong, and it's better piece of mind. It's fairly straight forward to change it out yourself.

Depending on the miles, you should do what Bert mentioned, and clean the MAF sensor. Inside the air intake tube can get very dirty overtime and put a film of dust/dirt on the sensor wire(s) which will give an incorrect air-to-fuel reading to the engine. This too is easily done if you have a large zip lock bag, and some basic tools. The MAF is located just before the throttle body, at the end of the air intake tube. You'll have to disconnect the plug going to the sensor, throw some MAF cleaner in the bag and shake the sensor around in the bag for a minute just being careful not to damage the wire(s) inside the tube. Then reinstall. An aerosol MAF cleaner can work also, and can be less messy.
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